Liverpool Message Board
I cant say that the WBA result really surprised me, just like I am sure that it did not surprise a sizable number of other fans as well. I cant even say that I was angry at the outcome, just a tad disappointed. Two years ago, having West Brom do the double on us would have been enough to get all fans riled up and demanding answers as to how such an abomination occurred, now we just meekly shrug our shoulders and accept it. That is an indication as to how low our expectations have sunk and how we have come to accept second best as part of our current DNA, which in iself is sad. In another post a fellow fan accused the Anfield crowd of having somehow failed the team versus West Brom by being passive and subdued. The cause of that is simple, they had a premonition of what was going to happen, having witnessed it a few times before. Rather than condemnation, they deserve praise for not turning against a team that shows about as much fight as QPR at times.
This post is not about whether Brendan Rodgers should stay or go. It is about pointing out what by now should be glaringly obvious, that our manager is no genius. There is no doubt that he is a decent manager, a manager who has a plan and an idea as to how he would like his teams to play, but apart from that he is no tactical guru. There is no doubt that he is a fan of beautiful football and I am sure he spends a majority of his time making sure that every team he manages plays exactly how he wants them to play. Right now we are a team that plays very attractive football but has no substance, character or fighting spirit, we are like a very pretty but dumb girl, very impressive at first sight but soon turns out that beyond the good looks lurks a very shallow human being. Behind our pretty play there is really not much fight or character, once we have been figured out then, it is game over.
The fact is Brendan always has a game plan but unfortunately beyond that game plan he has nothing else, no plan B at all. Stats dont lie and stats point out that if things dont go our way from the outset, they in most cases go against us. To give examples, of the 44 goals we have scored in the Premier League, only 2 were in the last 10 minutes of the game, although we have conceded a sizable number in the last 10 minutes. We have only come from behind twice so far, drawing once and winning the other, but we have lost and drawn quite a number of games in which we have led, even a 2 goal cushion has not been enough at times. Of the games that we have gone into half time all square, we have only won ONE, drawn three and lost SEVEN. All this points to one thing, the lads are not getting any inspiration whatsoever from the gaffer when things are not going well. Compare that with how Uniturd, Reading and to a lesser extent Everton have reacted to being a goal or two behind and there is no comparison.
Fact is, Brendan is a decent manager but that is as far as he will ever be, he is good enough not to get us relegated but I doubt that he is good enough to make us a top 4 team as his team lack the vital ingredient for success, CONSISTENCY. The fact that we have not beaten any top 10 team in 14 attempts is no coincidence either, that is the reason we are 9th, too good for the bottom teams but not good enough to better the teams in the top half. I am sure that we will beat a top half team eventually but that is just going to be the exception rather than the norm.
Sad but true.
Actually Mel there is quite a bit in that I do agree with, although maybe not your final conclusion.
Yes Brendan is a good manager, and the jury is still out on whether he can be more than that. But with the jury out it’s hard to predict the verdict either way, as someone who can reach no higher than the levels he's already attained, or if he can go beyond that to where we want to be and feel we should be.
I'm wondering if similar comments were made when other managers who had success at lower levels in the game, such as Shanks in the lower leagues, or SAF with success in Scotland, and whether after less than a full season in charge of much bigger clubs, they could rise beyond their past best.
For me, and I think many others a fair hearing is what should happen before passing judgment. Now how long that hearing should be maybe different for some, but I do think a single full season is the minimum, and more if progress can be measured as the project unfolds.
I'd also agree the side is very fragile at times, and does not handle adversity well. My disappointment and criticism for the match against WBA was not the loss of 3 points, not the performance for the vast majority of the match, but the apparent capitulation in the last 10 minutes or so when things went against us. And, as you say it’s not the first time it’s happened.
But the question is why, and what realistically a manager can do about it. For me the reason is mental, and BR does have the responsibility to ensure his team goes out with the correct frame of mind. But one good pep talk is not the solution, but a series of conversations over a long period of time to build up a team, re-enforce things when they go right, and addressing issues when they don't.
But to be perfectly frank I'm not sure what a manager can do when his team has shown the right tactical, technical, and mental attributes for 80 minutes, to correct things when they slip in the last 10 minutes of a match. I mean it’s not like you can call a time out, get the lads in a huddle and try again!
So while we need to see more mental strength throughout matches from the lads, and BR has responsibility in building up that mental strength, I'd not read too much into single matches. Rather I'd look to see what happens after the manager has had a chance to show his influence. That is, how we react to adversity in the next fixture. We sprang back well after the embarrassing loss to Villa, and it’s a similar reaction I'm looking for going forward.
All teams slip now and again, the best managers make sure it does not happen often (consistency), and ensure the reaction to those defeats actually strengthen rather than weaken the squad. But as I said before, for me the jury is still out on both these counts when it comes to BR.
I have a lot of sympathy with your view.
That said, I think I have seen a slow improvement over the season from the team (I know it was from a very low base - our worse start in years) and I think the way in which BR wants us to play will take a longer time to take effect than, for example, a football-by-numbers approach of Big Sam or Tony P.
Even though I fear your assessment of BR might be right, I think it doesn't make any sense to pull the plug on his reign at the end of the season. The owners appointed a manager with very little experience and have backed him in the transfer market so he surely must be given another season (as Kenny should have been given).
One final thing, there is a growing mentality on the board of shooting down anyone who isn't whole-heartedly behind BR. I hope that doesn't happen to your post. You have put forward a well-reasoned argument and, if someone wants to disagree with it, I hope they do so with the same logic and respect.
- 1 Reply to Paddy
psred...think Mel hit it when he said Rogers is a good enough manager to not get us relegated. Think about that ? Good enough to not get us relegated ??? What...have...we...become ? Im sitting here typing this after just watching the debacle in St Petersburg. The difference between us and them tonight was in my opinion the direction in which they passed the ball whenever they had possession .Every one of their players made every good effort to get the ball moving forward and to push up behind that forwrd movement of the ball...players consantly running forward in support of the man with the ball. Whereas we...passed it back sideways back sideways sideways back oops forward sideways back...need I go on Im sure u saw it. Rogers has no gameplan he has no Plan B ...The way we are polaying wit this tici taca and I might add being a regular
watcher of La Liga this is a VERY 3rd rate version of this style we are going NOWHERE...MID TABLE TEAM. The lads looked totally bereft out there after Hulk scored that cracker then all the spirit vanished after the seconfd goal....Rogers on the line looks the most miserable man alive...would this man and his appearance there on the line INSPIRE u ? He sure as shyte doesnt look like an inspirational character to me ...good job he wasnt in charge thzat night in Istanbul !
You can save us all some time and just keep re-posting your comment Mel! Concede late goals again! Team lacks stamina, bottle, etc. And just how bad are Allen, Downing, Henderson? 50 million quid worth of 'talent'!
Some good news for Rodgers though if/when he gets the boot... he can release a book of dumbass comments. 'Almost a perfect away performance', post-WBA I think it was something like 'we could have won the game'. 'Been on a terrific run of form' (9th place, defeat to poor Oldham side). Just words but at least have something constructive to say and be honest we need some real work!
- 1 Reply to arnoldlayne
Read this after my comments above re BR´s post match opinion
"Rodgers said afterwards it was "a perfect away performance, apart from 10 minutes", and if that is how he views the standards set by Liverpool supporters he could well find himself in trouble".
Seems even the press are at it now and no more than such stupid comments deserve!
I am normally in disagreement with most of the negative things you have to say Mel but you make some really good points too and think your post is really well written and you make a good argument.
We are definitely soft and something needs to be done about that seeming lack of character, it is a mental problem but one easily understood when you watch the players in front of you miss chance after chance.
I believe in the footballing philosophy and he has to see if the players can adapt to and be effective in that manner, if this summer he makes the right cuts and signings then it should hopefully rectify those shortcomings, patience is painful but we have already tried and failed every other way.
- 1 Reply to Hobitez
I know. Lets get Sam Allerdyce. He's out of contract in the Summer and he can bring back Carroll. Oh but that will mean that we'll have to sell everyone because they can't play long ball. Nevermind we can give him 6 months to sort it out. That should be enough.
It is a good post Mel and there's some fair points but while some may think that there's an issue with "shooting down" those who don't support Rodgers the problem I see with that is that they hardly put forward a viable option or alternative.
I'll argue that at least you can see what Rodgers is trying to do and he's one of 2 managers I can think that would have the balls to overhaul Liverpool Football club for the long term future. The other is Martinez. People may say Mourinho but he's strictly interested in his 2 year spell at any given club. After that he doesn't give a monkey.
yes we're about as blunt as a strawbelly jelly without Sturridge but as Hobs says it was always going to be tough and atience is needed. People quickly forget the errors of previous regimes which have done very little for the long term development of the club.
Many thanks Miguel.
Chelsea would have a strong argument for the other route but I would ask who exactly are Chelsea? Certainly none of their managers, perhaps Mureen while he was there but no one since. John Terry would have a bigger shout!
That's simply my view and why I offer my support to Rodgers and ask for some patience from others. Rather than looking at each individual result and dive into a rant actually look at what's really going on at the club.
Trouble with that balanced view is that as a club, we play things close lto our chests. The owners make no real comment, means we all try guessing what the vision is or how long/short term.
If the club have anything to answer to it´s supporters for, it´s the lack of comment.
A good leader takes his troops with him, keeps them in the loop, informs them of what he is trying to achieve, repeats the message regularly, kicks ass when needed and praises even when things get tough.
Don´t see much sign of that at Anfield so the guessing games will go on I reckon. Meantime, I´m trying to be patient in the absence of any short term info from the club and have to trust that we will continue to develop in the right direction.
Winning our remaining fixtures is a big ask as I see us at the moment. So, even more important to keep a level head and keep supporting. Just hope the management are trying to instill the same confidence into the players and that as confidence rises, so too will our league position.